GEOLINKS International Conference 2020, Book 2



M. Sc. Arch. Aleksandra Rogulska PhD Student


The Apennine Peninsula is one of the most densely-populated and most seismically active regions of Europe, possessing a wealth of cultural heritage. Historical cities and buildings are a part of this heritage. The earthquake damage prevention programme implemented in Italy does not cover existing buildings, and reconstruction plans for damaged cities, because of the threat's specificity, are always prepared after a disaster. In the case of heritage buildings, particularly those of super-local significance, decisions involving a complete reconstruction of their original form are typically made, erasing all traces of the tragedy. Reconstruction can take years, during which society is left without cultural facilities that are key to good morale. Opportunities provided by the phase between a disaster and restoring the buildings are too often underappreciated, while the time spent making the decision what and how to rebuild should be spent on action.
Strategies involving temporary buildings allow to prevent the disappearance of public functions during the period preceding the reconstruction of major cultural facilities. These buildings should be designed as resilient, assuming a capacity to adapt to changing conditions and upholding or rapidly returning to a functional state after a disaster. They can enable the time between the disaster and making the decision about reconstruction to be used to identify and test new relations in the surroundings created through the loss of a section of substance. They provoke a debate about what must be rebuilt and at what cost, they facilitate understanding of the goals of a planned reconstruction. But most importantly, they sustain the genius loci, in order to affect the city's reconstruction process in its social, psychological and economic aspects.
By analysing temporary cultural facilities built in Italian cities damaged by earthquakes, the study discusses methods of building temporary public buildings and features an attempt at assessing interventions that precede reconstruction. Based on the experiences of the city of L'Aquila severely damaged in 2009 and drawing conclusions from mistakes made during the implementation of pre-reconstruction strategies in the town, the author developed a proposal of a temporary intervention for the Basilica of St. Benedict of Nursia, which collapsed on the 30th of October 2016 as an effect of the Amatrice-Visso-Norcia seismic sequence. The proposal stresses the preservation of the previous function of the complex at its original site. This is meant to maintain the occupancy of Norcia's centre by the Benedictine monks, whose tradition is strongly linked with the city and makes it a major pilgrimage destination that is important to Christians. As a consequence, it is meant to prevent the depopulation of the centre of Norcia and causing its ruination as a place.



resilience, post-disaster recovery, post-disaster reconstruction, 2009 Abruzzo earthquake, 2016/2017 Amatrice-Visso-Norcia seismic sequence, Basilica of St. Benedict in Norcia

GEOLINKS International Conference, Conference Proceedings, ISSN 2603-5472, ISBN 978-619-7495-09-6, TEMPORARY CULTURAL FACILITIES AS AN ELEMENT OF REBUILDING STRATEGIES FOR CITIES AFFECTED BY EARTHQUAKES, 362-370 pp, DOI paper 10.32008/GEOLINKS2020/B2/V2/35